Raising four children alone and with a young son who recently underwent a lifesaving kidney transplant, Amanda Hilsher has faced her share of trials. She had hoped to settle in to her York Habitat for Humanity home by Christmastime, but delayed state funding put that plan on hold.
For Amanda Hilsher, as with many single parents, the challenges of making ends meet and providing a safe and comfortable space for her four children have become increasingly difficult. Rising rents eat up an ever-increasing portion of her income.
“It’s very expensive to live,” she says, “and we currently rent, so every year our rent goes up. It’s to the point now where it’s like I can’t afford to live there anymore.”
Amanda learned about York Habitat for Humanity’s home-ownership program through a friend who successfully had gone through the process in another county. She decided to give it a try, hoping to secure a stable and affordable home for her family.
‘This is their home’
Navigating the Habitat for Humanity application process was no small task, but Amanda persevered. She knew the importance of attaining a home for her family’s future. Earlier this year, she was approved for a home to be built in Red Lion.
“There were a lot of things I had to do to get approved, but it’s definitely worth it,” she says.
Amanda and her four children, ranging in age from 3 to 12, eagerly await the completion of their home, a place they finally can call their own. Having their own rooms is a big selling point for Amanda’s children, who now share bedrooms.
“One thing I really look forward to is something I didn’t have when I was a kid, which is stability where my kids will now know that this is their home and we don’t got to move,” Amanda says. “We don’t have to go to a different school. This is going to be their home until they move out someday.”
Habitat for Humanity is about more than providing homes; it’s about empowering homeowners through financial classes and being involved in the construction process. Amanda, a school bus driver, volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and put in hours of sweat equity helping to construct her future home.
“It's definitely rewarding because it’s something that you don’t normally get to do,” she says. “You get to see the process; you get to learn a lot of things.”
Amanda has faced more challenges than many parents, especially with her son Elijah, who was born with end-stage renal failure. After years of her fighting the system, Elijah received a kidney transplant last year, bringing a glimmer of hope to the family.
“He’s literally been fighting his whole life,” Amanda says.
Now, with the prospect of becoming a Habitat for Humanity homeowner on the horizon, Amanda is filled with gratitude as she anticipates the sense of security that home ownership will provide for her and her children.
“It is a big sense of relief of just knowing how much my mortgage is going to be. And I know I’m going to be able to afford it, and that every year the landlord doesn’t put up the rent,” she says.
Help Amanda finish her home
As Amanda donned her hard hat day after day and put in the sweat equity to help construct her Red Lion home, she hoped to move in by Christmas 2023.
But the Red Lion project was put on hold when state funds were stalled.
Now on the cusp of realizing her dream of a permanent home for her children, Amanda needs help.
By sponsoring a beam in her new Red Lion home, you can have a significant impact on the lives of Amanda and her four children. Together, members of the community can help Amanda and her family finally find the stability and security they deserve.